Chris Antemann in collaboration with
October 3, 2015–January 10, 2016
Over the past 15 years the Frick has engaged in exciting collaborations with a number of contemporary artists. We began the new millennium with our first foray into contemporary art, Clayton Days: Picture Stories by Vik Muniz, which featured an entirely new body of work by the renowned Brazilian artist.
Since then, we’ve been involved in projects both large and small. We’ve worked with other international artists like French photographer Christian Milovanoff and Spanish painter Felix de la Concha. We’ve developed exhibitions with specific connections to Pittsburgh and Frick history like Aaronel de Roy Gruber’s The Frick Landscapes, , and Craig McPherson’s Steel: Pittsburgh Drawings, and we’ve asked artists to make work in response to particular ideas, artworks, and spaces at the Frick.
This fall the Frick is pleased to present our next contemporary artist collaboration. Forbidden Fruit: Chris Antemann at Meissen will feature an extraordinary group of porcelainsmade by the artist while working for Meissen porcelain at their art campus. Inspired by the rich history of porcelain, and particularly examples by master modeler Johan Kändler (1706–75), Antemann has worked to create figurative porcelain for today’s world. Using the same techniques Meissen made famous in the 18th century, Antemann conjures a fantasy world with a mischievous sense of humor and a 21st-century edge.
Antemann has long been fascinated by 18th-century porcelain figures and the culture that made them popular, a culture of courtly ritual and sumptuous banquets in which porcelain—rare, costly, and for years only available by import from China—was prized as “white gold.” Meissen, founded in 1710, was the first European firm to discover the formula for manufacturing the thin, translucent luxury ware.
Collecting porcelain reached the point of obsession for some wealthy collectors in the 18th-century. Although the fashion for rooms dedicated entirely to displaying porcelain may have waned overthe centuries, collectors still coveted the finest examples, particularly those produced in China, Germany, and France. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, as Henry Clay Frick’s collecting matured,he sought to create a more immersive artistic environment in his homes, with decorative arts and furnishing of the same quality as his renowned collection of paintings. For Frick, Chinese and French porcelains became a key addition to his scope of collecting.
In Forbidden Fruit the Frick has invited Chris Antemann, an artist with a growing international reputation who grew up in nearby Johnstown, to design an installation of her Meissen works to complement our permanent collection of 18th-century French fine and decorative art. The exhibition will include major works like The Love Temple a sumptuous decorative ensemble designed for a banqueting table, The Pleasure Garden (inspired by Fragonard’s famous Progress of Love series), and the Paradise Chandelier. The artist has also curated a group of porcelains from the permanent collection and will be installing work in our French period room, which will be open for the first time since 2003 for
this special exhibition.